Females are roughly one-third the size of males. Our organization is not affiliated with any other otter-related research group or community outreach organization. Prior to our Otter Spotter community science effort beginning in 2012, river otters were not known to inhabit the SF Bay Area. Adopt a red panda to give the perfect gift to the animal lover in your life — even if that animal lover is you! North American river otters are known for their playful swimming, but they are also an important species for helping scientists understand the health of river systems. Lutra canadensis Status . The River Otter Ecology Project, a nonprofit organization studying river otter populations in Marin County, provided the otter videos from California. Otters reach sexual maturity at 2 to 3 years of age. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). The majority of the animals in our study area shared space with at least 1 other animal at the core-area scale, and animals tended to be attracted to each other and were frequently located m close proximity to other otters. Check the conservation status of the animals you hunt and use methods that don’t impact other animals. With the tail's strong, undulating movement, a river otter propels itself through the water as fast as 8 miles (13 kilometers) per hour and can easily dive to 36 feet (11 meters) or more. River otter vocalizations and behaviors in New York were recorded using Bushnell Aggressor trail cameras that were placed in areas of moderate to high river otter activity. 100 Montrose, CO 81401 RIVER OTTER NETWORK: We are interested in describing the distribution and demography of otters on the coasts, wetlands and watersheds in Humboldt, Del Norte and adjacent counties. How much water can a river otter drink in three days? The fertilized eggs float around in the uterus for about 9 months before implantation occurs, rather than implanting on the uterine wall shortly after fertilization. As recently as the mid-1980s, more than 30,000 pelts were harvested annually. Density & Home Range Size. Two litters were reared with older siblings in the family group. During the mid-80s, zoologists still regarded the European otter as a species on the verge of extinction. Its height at the shoulder is about 10 inches. 1) are best known for their continuous and playful behavior, their aesthetic value, and the value of their durable, high-quality fur. While river otters tend to live alone or in pairs, they often socialize in groups and are known for their playful behavior. Information about river otter breeding and reproductive and social behavior is varied due to the difficulty of studying these animals in the wild. Otter are carnivores, feeding on fish, crayfish, frogs, insects, small mammals, mollusks, and blue crabs. Science of The Total Environment, 408(3), pp.537-542 . Future genetic analysis of scat collected on all of the nearshore islands and the upper Cape will provide valuable information on connectivity between these populations. North American river otters are likely the most numerous of the otter species. They have an elongated, thick, neck with long, narrow head and small eyes, small, tapering ear which is rounded at the tip, pointed, short tail; and broad, webbed feet. Females are slightly smaller, weighing 14-33 kg and measuring 1-1.4 m in length. Journal. Understanding river otter range, or the area that river otters inhabit, is an important tool to help us with land use planning, restoration decisions, and toxic spill planning and response. Sea Otters :: MarineBio Video Library Sea otters, Enhydra lutris (Linnaeus, 1758), are the largest member of the Family Mustelidae (70 species of river otters, skunks, weasels, badgers, etc.) River Otter Habitats - Biology bibliographies - in Harvard style . North American river otters are known for their playful swimming, but they are also an important species for helping scientists understand the health of river … They habitually use specific sites (toilets) for defecation. Now more than ever, we need your support. Because of the availability of abundant alternate food species in warm water, losses of the warm water sport fishes are believed minor compared to losses river otters can inflict on cold water species such as trout and salmon. Other research maintains that river otters mate for life. 2 Four appendices reporting on short investigations into matters related to the review: Ecology of the European Otter 5 Paul Glendell/English Nature Although there is a lot of information available about the biology and distribution of the otter,a great deal They don’t like human encroachment, and are uncommon nowadays. Answers: 3 on a question: River otters drink about 5 times as much water as a bald eagle drinks in a day. Following breeding and fertilization in spring, eggs (blastocysts) exist in a free-floating state until the following winter or early spring. (1.29m) for males and 3 ft. 8 in. Like other carnivores, their teeth are well adapted for grinding and crushing. There is evidence that river otters' play activities strengthen social bonds, improve hunting techniques and scent mark territories. Estrus can last anywhere from 20-56 days. Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington, DC 20008, PO Box 37012 Society for Conservation Biology North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis): A Technical Conservation Assessment Prepared for the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, Species Conservation Project September 2, 2006 Steve Boyle BIO-Logic Environmental 635 East Main Ste. Otters are found from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island and north to Yukon Territory. River otters eat mostly aquatic organisms, including fish, frogs, crayfish, turtles, insects and some small mammals. Adult river otters weigh 10 to 33 pounds (4.5 to 15 kilograms) and are about 2.5 to 5 feet (76 to 152 centimeters) in length. River otters are also valued as a game species and furbearer (Melquist et al. Gestation lasts about 60 days, and the young, called kits, are born almost 1 year after conception. Adult otter can be over 50 inches long and weigh up to 25 lbs. Litters usually contain 2 to 4 kits, and the female alone cares for the young. River otters (Lutra canadensis, Fig. Their precolonial range apparently included all of North America except the arid Southwest and the northernmost portions of Alaska and Canada. Cite This For Me. Following breeding and fertilization in spring, eggs (blastocysts) exist in a free-floating state until the following winter or early spring. By 1977, the river otter was included as an Appendix II species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) - not necessarily for the river otter’s sake, but more so for that of similar species with endangered status, whom officials feared would be inadvertently targeted by the fur trade in a case of mistaken identity. Not only are we seeing the return of the River otter to many areas, but also that it is possible for humans and otters, to co-exist in the same areas. Sexual maturity in young is believed to occur at about 2 years of age in females, but later in males. When a female otter is in her most fertile state it is referred to as estrus. Stealing of prey from another otter sometimes occurs, most typically males stealing from females. Females are about 25 percent smaller than males. Their sex can be readily distinguished by the presence of a baculum (penile bone). River otters are found throughout most of North America from the Rio Grande to Canada and Alaska, except for in arid deserts and the treeless Arctic. Average life expectancy. It represents our guide to managing otter populations in Pennsylvania for the next 10 years. River otters are chiefly nocturnal, but they frequently are active during day-light hours in undisturbed areas. Natal dens tend to be located on small headwater branches or streams leading to major drainages or lakes. river otter biology, habitat, history, resource value, and population management and provide direction for future management. Hollow logs, rock crevices, nutria houses, and abandoned beaver lodges and bank dens are used. Males have been recorded to travel up to 10 miles (16 km) in 1 night. Captured prey are brought to the surface for consumption, with the abdomen used as a table. In some provinces and states, major otter re-introduction projects are underway with much success. At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they eat a prepared meat diet and several types of fish. River otters use their powerful hind feet to help with propulsion and their small, dexterous front feet for paddling through the water. Their long, agile bodies enable them to quickly twist , turn, roll and dive, and they are frequently seen sliding or burrowing in the mud or snow. The tail is highly muscular and comprises up to 40 percent of the otter's total body length. Between 1999 and 2004 a study into the behaviour and reproductive biology of a pair of Giant river otters was carried out at Cali Zoo. Pups grow rapidly and emerge from the den at about 2 months of age. After the Clean Water Act of 1972, they The River Otter Ecology Project is a registered 501 (c)(3) EIN #45-4997526 non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of river otters and our watershed. Otter populations are confined to water courses, lakes, and wetlands, and therefore, population densities are lower than those of terrestrial species. When threatened or frightened, they emit a hair-raising scream that can be heard up to 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) across the water. By becoming a member, you'll help the Zoo save species and get great benefits for you and your family each time you visit! Adirondack Mammals. They spend a significant portion of the day scent marking territory by urinating, defecating, scratching and rubbing their scent glands on rocks and trees. Our first goal for The River Otter Ecology Project was to convene a broadly-based group of experts in conservation, population biology, marine mammals, tracking and genomics to help guide our research. Native to both Newfoundland and Labrador. Seasonally, they may travel distances of 50 to 60 miles (80 to 96 km) along streams or lake shores, and their home ranges may be as large as 60 square miles (155 km2). Regionally extinct throughout the Midwest and heavily populated areas in the east, several states have recently begun reintroduction programs. Lutra canadensis. Their aquatic habitats can be both marine and fresh water: streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes. The otters are thriving—the water is relatively clean, the populations of fish are good. The male reproductive system contains a penis, testes, scrotum and more while the female reproductive system contains a vagina, ovaries, etc. otter biology and history ^ Otters were once plentiful across most of North America but due to trapping pressure in the late 1800’s and early 20th century, these numbers dwindled. Biology of the North American river otter Adult river otters weigh between 15 and 30 pounds and measure 84.34 cm (2.8 feet) to 137.16 cm (4.5 feet).1,2 Otters have adapted to their aquatic environment by de-veloping dense fur, large lungs, and webbed hind feet. Fertilization is internal with the otters meaning the male releases the sperm inside the female. The tail comprises less than a third of the body length. Males weigh 22-45 kg and are 1.2-1.5 m in length. They weigh about 4 to 6 ounces (113 to 170 grams) at birth and measure 8 to 11 inches (20 to 28 centimeters). 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